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Rent increase laws - How much can rent be increased by?

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In recent years, the cost of rent has steadily increased in Australia along with the general cost of living. Although rent increases are completely legal, landlords must follow rent increase laws. Every state and territory has strict rent increase rules to limit these rent hikes. 

As a property investor, avoid any potential disputes by understanding the guidelines surrounding rent increases. And for tenants, learning about rent increase laws can help them protect themselves from unjust rent surges.

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, knowing your rights is vital. Learn about the rate increase laws in your state below: 

New South Wales (NSW) 

In NSW, landlords must provide a written notice of the rental increase 60 days before the rent is raised for most cases. The landlord can write their own notice or use the notice of rent increase form from NSW Fair Trading. The notice must: 

  • Clearly state the proposed rent amount 
  • Have the date on which the increased rent is payable 
  • Signed, dated, and addressed to the tenant 

If the landlord fails to provide adequate notice, tenants aren’t required to pay the increased rent. Always follow the NSW rent increase rules to avoid any penalties. Tenants can go to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) within 30 days if they believe the rent raise is too exuberant. 

Fixed-term agreements in NSW 

For lease terms of less than two years, rent can only be increased without written notice as long as it’s in the lease agreement. The agreement must contain the amount of rent increase or the exact method of calculating the increase. It must also include the day the increased rent will apply. The terms of the agreement must be explicit and clear according to NSW Fair Training. Terms such as “in line with the market” or “by the rate of inflation” should not be included in the agreement. 

If the fixed term is for two years or more, rent can only be increased once every 12 months. Landlords must follow the 60-day notice rule. According to rent increase laws in NSW, this also applies to lease agreements without a specified term or if the fixed-term agreement becomes a continuing or renewed agreement. 

Periodic agreements in NSW 

For those with a periodic lease agreement, rent increase laws state landlords can only increase rent once in 12 months. This rule is also applicable for renewed tenancies. The notice must be given in the required 60 days before the increase is implemented. 

No written agreements in NSW 

For rental properties without a written agreement, rent increases are not allowed within the first six months. 

Victoria (Vic) 

Landlords in Victoria must provide written notice of any rent increase at least 60 days prior. Rental property owners or managers must follow the following rent increase laws in Victoria: 

  • No rent increases are allowed before the end of a fixed-term agreement.  
  • Rent may be increased only if it is stipulated in the lease. The agreement must state clearly the new rent amount and how the rent will be calculated. 
  • No rent increases are allowed more than once in any six-month period for leases that commenced before 19 June 2019. 
  • No rent increases are allowed more than once in any 12-month period for leases that commenced after 19 June 2019. 

Tenants can challenge an increase if they think it’s too excessive by submitting a request to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The request must be made within 30 days after the rent rise has taken effect. 

Fixed-term agreements in Vic 

In a fixed-term agreement, landlords or rental providers cannot increase rent unless it’s been clearly stipulated in the tenancy agreement. The agreement must also include how the increase will be calculated. Appropriate rental notice rules apply. 

For leases with less than five years on the term, rent can only increase after the agreement is over. Once an increase is permitted, rent can only be increased once every six months (for agreements started before 19 June 2019) or once every 12 months (for agreements started on or after 19 June 2019). 

If the lease is longer than five years, landlords are not allowed to increase rent more than once every 12 months and only if the agreement allows for a rent increase. 

Periodic agreements in Vic 

Rent cannot be increased more than once every six months for periodic rental agreements started before 19 June 2019. A rental agreement that turned periodic on or past 19 June 2019 is not allowed to increase rent. The rent increase notice laws apply here, as well. 

Queensland (QLD) 

In Queensland, landlords must notify tenants of any property rent increases at least two months before it is implemented. Rent may only be increased once every six months since the start of the tenancy or since the last rent increase. From 1 July 2023 onward, the rent increase frequency will limit rent changes to once every 12 months for all new and existing tenancies. 

Rent increases after 1 July 2023 will only be valid if it’s been 12 months since the previous rent increase. More frequent rent increases written into the lease agreement before 1 July 2023 will no longer be applicable. 

For any complaints about rent increases, tenants may go to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). 

Fixed-term agreements in QLD 

If it’s a fixed-term agreement, landlords cannot increase rent unless there are provisions clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. The agreement must also state the new amount, or the calculation method used to reach a new rent amount. Landlords must provide tenants with written notice of the increase at least two months before the increase is due. The increase can only take effect six months after the tenancy has begun or since the last increase. 

Landlords must provide a written notice of rent increase even if it’s in the tenancy agreement. The notice should include the increased amount and exactly when it will take effect. 

Periodic agreements in QLD 

A landlord can increase rent for periodic agreements as long as they provide a written notice two months prior to the increase. Also, rent can only be increased if it’s been at least six months since the tenancy started or since the last rent increase. 

New agreements in QLD 

A landlord and tenant can enter a new agreement at the end of a fixed term to increase rent. Since the tenant and landlord are coming into a new tenancy agreement, there is no need to provide a rent increase notice.  

If there is no new agreement signed, the tenancy arrangement becomes periodic, and the periodic agreement rent increase rules will be followed. Take note landlords cannot implement an immediate rent increase. It can only take effect two months after the agreement becomes periodic. 

Western Australia (WA) 

Landlords must provide a written notice to tenants if they’re going to increase rent. The notice must be in a WA Department of Commerce-approved form. The notice must be given 60 days before the increased rent is implemented. 

If a rent increase is too much, tenants can go to the Magistrates Court to file a complaint. 

Fixed-term agreements in WA 

Landlords aren’t allowed to increase rent unless there are stipulations in place in the contract. The agreement must include the new rent amount, or the method used to calculate the new rent. Rent increases can only take effect at least six months after the commencement of the tenancy agreement or the date of the most recent increase. Tenants must be notified at least 60 days prior to the rent increase. 

Periodic agreements in WA 

Rent can only be increased after the first six months of a tenancy agreement. Landlords can also increase rent as long as it’s not within six months of the most recent rent increase.  

A written notice must be given to tenants about the rent increase 60 days before it is due. The notice must include the increased rent amount and how it was calculated. Tenants aren’t obliged to pay the new rent amount if landlords fail to provide proper notice. 

New agreements in WA 

Once an existing tenant’s fixed-term lease is over, they can continue to rent the same property on a new fixed-term agreement. If a fixed-term lease turns into a periodic agreement, landlords can increase the rent after the first 30 days of the new agreement. 

South Australia (SA)

In South Australia, landlords are required to provide written notice of rent increase. The notice must be provided 60 days before the actual implementation of the increase. Rent increase rules in SA are as follows: 

  • Rent can only be increased every six months for leases starting before March 2014. 
  • Rent can only be increased every 12 months or 12 months after the start of the agreement for leases starting after March 2014. 
  • No limit to rent increase prices. 

Tenants can lodge a complaint to the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) if they believe the rent increase is too much. 

Fixed-term agreements in SA 

Property rentals under a fixed-term agreement can have a rent increase as long as there is a condition allowing it in the lease agreement. The rent increase stipulation must clearly include how the increase will be calculated.  

Fixed and periodic agreements in SA 

For both fixed and periodic lease agreements in SA, rent increases cannot start until 12 months after the agreement started or 12 months after the last increase. Before implementing the rent hike, landlords must notify tenants at least 60 days prior. 

Rent can be increased along with a lease extension offer if at least 12 months have passed since the initial agreement began or when the last increase was implemented. 

Tasmania (Tas) 

Tasmania follows similar rent increase rules as other states and territories. Rental property owners must give tenants a written notice of 60 days stating the new rent and when it will take effect. The rent increase notice must include: 

  • The new rent amount 
  • The exact date the new rent begins 

Any changes to the rent should be implemented at least 12 months after the last increase. A rent hike can also take effect after 12 months from the start of the lease agreement. 

Tenants have 60 days within the implementation of the new rent to file a dispute with the Residential Tenancy Commissioner (RTC) if they deem the rent hike excessive. 

Written lease rent increase rules in Tas 

Rent increases are only allowed if it’s stated clearly on the lease. If the lease is over 12 months, rent can be increased 12 months after the start of the lease. 

Usually, rent increases are not allowed mid-lease. If you’re a landlord, you’re only allowed to increase rent at the beginning of the lease, at the lease renewal, or at the lease extension. These rent increase rules were created to help tenants know their rent obligations for at least 12 months. 

If the lease is over 12 months, rent can be increased 12 months after the beginning of the lease. For leases under 12 months, rent can be increased at least 12 months after the tenancy has started. This holds true even if the lease is extended or renewed.  

Leases not in writing rent increase rules in Tas 

If the lease is not in writing, the landlord or property owners are allowed to increase the rent. The 60-day notice period still applies. 

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) 

Unlike other states and territories, in Australian Capital Territory, landlords are required to provide an eight-week notice to tenants regarding rent increases. Rent increase rules depend on the type of lease. However, the rent notice rule applies to most cases. 

Generally, rent increases are limited to a certain prescribed amount. Landlords may only increase rent by 10% over the increase in Canberra CPI. Tenants may submit their complaints about rent increases to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) if they think the increase is too much.  

Fixed-term agreements in ACT 

Landlords are not allowed to increase rent unless it’s stated in the lease agreement. The agreement must also include the amount of the increase and the method of calculating it. If a fixed-term agreement of at least 12 months has ended, only then can landlords increase rent. The eight-week notice period applies here, as well. 

Periodic term agreements in ACT 

Landlords are allowed to increase rent for 12-month intervals. Any rent increases that are less than 12 months are not allowed. Tenants must be given prior notice of at least eight weeks before the rent increase takes effect. 

Northern Territory (NT) 

In the Northern Territory, rental laws require 30 days of written notice for any rental increases. The notice must include when the rent hike begins and the new rent amount. Rent increases can happen six months after the tenancy started or at least six months from the last increase. 

Landlords can increase rent during a tenancy only if it’s been written into the tenancy agreement. The agreement must state how much the increase will be and how it was calculated. Otherwise, the landlord and the tenant must agree to raise the rent. 

Interested in rental property investment? 

Learning the ins and outs of rental properties is an important first step to a successful investment. Start your investment off on the right foot by getting a low rate investment property loan. Pre-qualify for a loan today or contact us to learn more about your investment property loan options.

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